Students in Brooklyn Center had a brush with history Friday as part of Black History Month. Civil rights pioneer Bettie Mae Fikes shared experiences from 50 years ago at Northport Elementary School. Fikes was at the epicenter of the civil rights struggle in Selma, Ala. "There were a lot of people marching who were just completely kicked out of their homes," Fikes said. "A lot of things we take for granted today, someone had to die for us back then." Fikes mixed music with her message to the kids and had some powerful things to say. "Most of our younger generation now doesn't even have a clue about their history," Fikes said. Fikes and countless others jumpstarted the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Today, however, Fikes believes there are cracks in the foundation they built. "When the foundation is laid you are supposed to be able to build," Fikes said. "We're not building. I'm crying now more than I've ever cried before." Fikes experienced police harassment in Selma and knows it still happens n 2016. She says a few rogue cops bring down the entire police force. "These bad cops have made it very bad for people to trust the good cops," Fikes said. "There are a bunch of good cops that represent the different states and cities." For Fikes her visit to Northport is just another step in a remarkable journey. "No man is free until we all are free," Fikes said. Later this month Fikes will be honored in Washington D.C., in a recognition for all she did for the Civil Rights Movement 50 years ago. Eric Nelson, reporting http://twelve.tv http://www.facebook.com/12localnews http://twitter.com/12sports http://twitter.com/12localnews
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